Private-member bill set to revive abortion debate
Pregnancy termination amendment is intended to tighten conditions for allowing women to have abortions
The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill has been tabled in Parliament, paving the way for an emotional debate on access to abortion when MPs return to their duties next year. The draft legislation is a private-member’s bill introduced by African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Cheryllyn Dudley, who previously tried to restrict women’s access to abortion by proposing an amendment to the Constitution to include the right to life of the unborn child. Her bill, which was published for comment in July, would provide for mandatory counselling of women seeking abortions, including showing them images of foetuses in wombs. The draft legislation is intended to tighten conditions for allowing women to have abortions in second trimesters, by requiring that social workers must agree with doctors’ determinations that continued pregnancy would significantly affect women’s social or economic circumstances. And it would scrap provisions that permit third-trimester abortions if th...